Before I kick off this series of posts, I want to confess something. I’m still fat. I’m technically obese by the standards set forth by the sort of people that do that sort of thing, and I am in no way an expert at this, but people have asked about my recent weight loss and heck, I have a blog, so i’m going to write about what’s worked for me and what might work for you. Over this series of posts, I’m going to type a lot and it’s all going to basically boil down to one thing: you need to exert more calories than you take in.
Or, in math terms, CALORIES BURNED > CALORIES CONSUMED.
Boy, that looks easy, doesn’t it? It’s a crying shame that for most people, it involves reworking how they view and treat both food and physical activity.
Honestly, I think “diet” is a dirty word, particularly in our culture where there’s dozens of branded ways to permanently break your relationship with food. It’s a crutch, a word that can be blamed when you fail. Now, I’m not going to spend any time trashing things that work for other people — Weight Watchers, in particular, seems to have helped a lot of people I know — but I’ve found that diet alone just doesn’t do it. it creates an adversarial relationship where I end up hate-fucking every meal you choke down until I finally cheat and rediscover the world of delicious, fat-laden foods that aim directly at the pleasure centers of my tiny monkey brain.
So, yeah, none of the “d-word” here. Now let’s get started.
Food Is Not The Enemy
Let’s not demonize the thing that keeps us functioning, OK? Food is pretty fantastic because it allows us to actually enjoy putting fuel into our bodies, something that only the Sex Shuttles of Alpha Proximi get to claim as well. However, there are things that we eat and digest and excrete that look, sound, and feel like food but aren’t: they’re filler.
The quicker you stop viewing things that are handed to you by a jaded high schooler in a drive-through window as something that should be eaten, the quicker you can start getting serious about losing weight and feeling better. For the record, this also includes pretty much every shelf-stable, prepackaged food item out there and thus eliminates 95% of the stuff available in your local convenience store. Yes, it sucks.
Trust me, I would gladly murder any of you for the chance to eat a bag of Cape Cod Salt and Vinegar potato chips without consequences, but those delicious starch wafers are not food, and neither is the Star Crunch snack cake I’d throw into my gaping maw afterwards to cleanse my palate. I’m not even going to pretend that an orange or a baked potato is as delicious, but they’re demonstrably food and not a bundle of empty calories.
You need to look at maximizing the value of what you put into your body, or to explain it in comic book terms, you’re looking more for Claremont/Byrne X-Men issues than Steampunk Palin.
Yes, it takes more time and energy to eat well, but the changes you experience when you forgo convenience foods and actually start ingesting what your body wants while ignoring your stupid brain’s plea for Tacos After Midnight-Flavored Doritos are worth it, trust me.
Bite sized version: food is your friend, filler is your foe.